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Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife – July 12, 2022

Table of Contents

Shannon’s Note

We had a great plant sale last month at Lost River Cave in Bowling Green as part of National Pollinator Week. We appreciate everyone who came out to hear me talk about butterflies or who bought plants from us. I have a couple more presentations coming up that some of you may be interested in. See the links below for more details about those.

Oh, in case you missed the announcement, we now have a Backyard Ecology YouTube channel! Currently it has several trail cam compilations, some plant profiles, some pollinator and wildlife profiles, and some fun 60-seconds or less videos. Once the weather cools down, we plan to begin including how-to videos related to gardening and creating habitat for pollinators and wildlife. We typically post one short video (60-seconds or less) and one longer video (approximately 5 minutes) each week. If there is something specific that you would like to see us do a YouTube video about, please let us know.

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One of our royal catchflies blooming in the nursery.

Nursery Update

Water, water, and more water. With as hot and dry as it has been, watering has been the main story and activity in the nursery recently. Sometimes we’re watering twice a day, but that’s what it takes to keep the plants looking nice in weather like this. Anthony has done an excellent job at keeping everything healthy and growing well, despite the challenging weather.

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Upcoming Deliveries

We decided last month to skip plant sales in July just because it isn’t the best time to be planting. It can be done, but it takes more work. After seeing how the weather at the end of June and first half of July have played out, we’re very glad we made that decision. Our next pre-ordered deliveries will be in August.

  • August 13: Land Between the Lakes area
    • I will be giving a presentation on the evening of August 13 at Woodlands Nature Center.
    • If you are on that end of the state and want to put in a pre-order, I can bring plants with me.
    • If you are interested in ordering plants for that date, let us know. The deadline for placing an order will be noon on Thurs., August 11.
  • August 26: Glasgow
    • 5:30 p.m., Beaver Trail Park parking lot
    • Plant availability and logistics will be in the August 16 newsletter.
  • August 26: Bowling Green
    • 10:00 a.m., parking lot of the WKU Small Business Development Center (a.k.a. old mall)
    • Plant availability and logistics will be in the August 16 newsletter.

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July Tasks When Gardening for Pollinators and Wildlife

  • If you are trying to plant, do so in the early morning or evening (my preferred time) and avoid planting in the heat of the day for the sake of yourself and your plants.
    • Your best bet right now might be to keep anything that hasn’t been planted yet in pots that are well-watered and placed in semi-shade until the temperatures become more reasonable and we start getting rain on a regular basis again.
  • Give any new plants plenty of water to help them get established.
    • Even native plants need a little help their first year and possibly second year, especially with as hot and dry as it has been lately.
  • Give extra water to any plants in pots.
    • Plants in pots dry out much faster than plants in the ground.
  • Clean hummingbird feeders regularly.
    • Might be as often as every day at this time of year and never add new sugar water to old sugar water.
    • For more tips on safely feeding hummingbirds, see below for the Backyard Ecology blog article on this topic.
  • Clean and refill birdbaths weekly or more often as needed.
    • Cleaning and refilling birdbaths at least once a week will help keep your birdbath from becoming a mosquito factory.
  • Check for and remove any paper wasp nests in butterfly houses or empty birdhouses near your gardens.
    • I actually recommend removing or blocking the entrances to butterfly houses. See below for my Backyard Ecology blog article on this topic for why I recommend this.
  • It’s always a good time to kill invasive species.
    • Stilt grass (Microstegium sp.) can be easily pulled in garden beds.
    • If you are using herbicides, be sure to read and follow the label.
  • Consider celebrating National Moth Week (July 23-31, 2022) by giving mothing a try.
    • Mothing is the act of attracting and observing moths. It can be a lot of fun and give you some up close views of insects that we don’t often see much of.
    • I give more details about mothing and ways you can do it in the Backyard Ecology blog article on the topic listed below.

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Backyard Ecology Resources

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Busy Bee Nursery and Consulting

Helping you create the pollinator and wildlife habitat of your dreams, so you can enjoy your land and care for the plants and animals that also call your property home.

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